How do you know what you don’t know? A guide to online business resources
Starting a small business can be overwhelming and one of the things that will determine whether you succeed or not can be knowing what you don’t know. We all have different knowledge bases, and it’s likely that you have created your business around something you know a lot about. What is unlikely however is that you are an expert in all aspects of business; marketing, social media, sales, taxes, and trademarks just to name a few.
One thing that has helped eDoc LLC grow over the years is having a wide variety of free resources to learn from. In today’s market many of these resources can be found online; in the form of blogs, articles, forums and webinars. Part of knowing what you don’t know begins with ‘surfing’ the web on topics that you know you aren’t an expert in. By finding trusted sites that service both general business and your specialty you will be exposed to topics that you can learn more about.
We thought we would share with you some of the general business sites we have come to rely on over the years and appreciated learning from.
The small business administration is a crucial resource for all businesses. Not only does the SBA offer useful webinars and articles, but it also has locations where you can go in person and speak to professionals about various business issues you need help with. http://www.sba.gov/
Associated with the SBA, SCORE offers workshops, tools and mentoring for businesses. Find everything from templates for a business plan to insights on how to get financing. http://www.score.org/
An excellent magazine website with full online articles, this is a site that businesses of all sizes should know about. Articles range from international markets to startups and technology. http://www.entrepreneur.com/
Inc., another magazine website, offers a more personal approach to business information. Articles are short and insightful with meaningful content. http://www.inc.com/
Believe it or not but the IRS can be your friend. With tools, webinars, articles and clear explanations, you can grow your company the right way. http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Small-Business-and-Self-Employed-Tax-Center-1
- A great site for all businesses, this government site has information for everyone from startups to those looking to export their products. We love the personalized approach this site offers; for example, you can learn about health care changes that affect you by choosing where you are located and what size business you operate. http://business.usa.gov/
A word of caution; online research is not a substitute for professional advice for your individual situation. However, these online resources help educate, show you what you might be missing and even help start the conversation with the right professional that can help you achieve your goals.